A while back there was a posting for which there raged a discussion about the liquid of choice for chili. Some say beer and some say not beer.
I usually use beer when I brew chili. One 12-oz. bottle for about 5 pounds of chunked beef. This past Sunday (26Feb06) was an exception. There was some beef broth in the freezer. So I defrosted it on the Saturday before using it instead of beer.
The resulting chili was as good as that made with beer. I did a taste test since I had one serving left of the previous batch of chili made with beer. Since there was no appreciable difference (notice that I did not say 'significant*'), I will continue using beer in my future chili brews.
I cannot make a statement about the use of water instead of beer since I don't brew chili with water.
* Since I was a profession statistician during my working years, I reserve the word 'significant' to interpret only the results of hypothesis testing.